After several weeks of in-depth preparation and study, Rodeph Sholom School 4th Grade students shared their learning with families and teachers through a formal Poetry Reading, which also served as a special occasion to mark the end of their elementary school journey.
Families gathered in the Schafler Forum at Congregation Rodeph Sholom and were greeted by nine students who, from the stage, introduced the event with confidence and pride. The curtain opened to reveal the rest of the 4th Grade behind them and the students proceeded to read their unique poems, alternating between two lecterns placed on either side of the stage. Guests were offered a special glimpse into the personal reflections of each 4th grader as they listened to verses filled with rhythm, metaphor, personification, and a healthy dose of onomatopoeia. The topics ranged from a love of sports, pets, or Krispy Kreme to musings about happiness, fear, and life, and it was clear that the group fully grasped the elements that make up an excellent poem. Whether their usual demeanors were reserved or boisterous, each of the nine and ten-year-olds were poised, articulate, and courageous in their deliveries.
“Even through the darkThere are people that are light”
After half of the students took their turns, as a group the class shared specifics about their process of developing their poems, learning the mechanics of poetry writing, and the connection between poetry and song. The group then joined together to sing, “Today is the Day” by Teresa Jennings, the lyrics of which were particularly suited to this strong group as they sang, “…here we are, nothing can stop us now!”
“There will always be pain,You can’t have flowers without rain,And when the showers come again,Increase the power of your flame.”
Once all of the poems were read, the faculty who guided the students along the way read a special poem they wrote for the 4th graders to honor their efforts this year. Rabbi Ben Spratt rounded out the presentation by expressing gratitude to the families and faculty and praising the students for demonstrating that poetry is best when it makes people feel something. He explained that we experienced “tears and laughter, full hearts and heavy hearts today” and “the power of words” should not be underestimated. He expressed his hope that these lessons will stay with them into adulthood.
“Pickles, I am powerful
You show me that I am
Fears you can’t get me
I am fierce, yes I am”
As a final highlight, Rodeph Sholom School 8th graders sent a memorable video from Israel congratulating the 4th Grade and welcoming them to the middle school. Rodeph Sholom School is very proud of the hard work that went into this presentation and congratulates the students on their creativity and effort. Enjoy photos of the event below.
Learn more about Rodeph Sholom School Elementary Division here.